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Re: [teacherartexchange] Distance Learning

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From: M.Austin (whest177_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Jun 16 2005 - 13:17:06 PDT


> You have a wonderful opportunity to try some innovative things here. Do
> you
> have two way communication as well? In other words, what do both sides
> see?
> Can they see each other or only what is on the video camera? Can students
> of
> one class ask questions of the other students?

It is two-way live. I will be able to see and communicate directly with my
off-campus students, and at the same time they will see and communicate with
me and my on-campus students. The television is really big, which is nice.
AND the cool thing is, if they add another off-campus class they will bring
in another tv, so it would become 3-way interactive. I can zoom in on just
me, or I can have the focus on the entire classroom.

> I took a college level class that was offered this way. One week my class
> got
> the "live" instructor who was communicating with the other class via video
> teleconferencing. The next week we saw the instructor via video
> teleconferencing from his other location. The instructor moved back and
> forth
> between the two places. One thing I noticed is that the instructor seemed
> pretty tied to the video conferencing station..not able to walk around,
> etc.

This is how our local community college used to do this - at least 15 years
ago when we used that classroom. It was neat, but at the same time it didn't
promote discussion between the different classrooms because you had to buzz
in and then the entire audio was in your room. It took quite abit of time,
and the video was kind of choppy (course it was YEARS ago!)

> I have used an Elmo, but have generally been disappointed in it. I guess
> it
> depends upon the quality of the Elmo, the amount of lumens that it has to
> project images/objects, etc and the size of the elmo/projection. Also a
> factor
> is the size of the TV/screen that students are looking at.

The Elmo that is setup in the IDL lab (Instructional Distance Learning Lab)
at our school is really nice - very crisp images, even magnified, but I
guess I don't have enough experience with one to realize the full potential.
Maybe another discussion here - how do you use your Elmo????

> Right now you are probably focusing on things you can't do the same way.
> Eventually you will discover different ways to do the same thing...it will
> be
> quite an adjustment but a fascinating experience.

I think you hit the nail on the head - I know how I've always done it, but
now I'm stressing because I'm unsure of what to do instead of. It really is
unchartered territory around my area. My district is the off-campus site for
Spanish classes, because we cannot afford to hire a full time Spanish
teacher, and are located in the middle of nowhere, making it difficult to
hire a part-time teacher.
~Michal

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